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JC Penney logo takes a step back

October 17th, 2013

According to the Huff Post, “JCPenney wants you to forget that it hired an ex-Apple executive and tried to be ‘hip’”. After launching a brand new logo just two years ago – and following the dismissal of the CEO who commissioned it – US department store JCPenney has decided to revert back to its old one.

Originally known as ‘Penney’s’, the US department store now known as JCPenney, was founded by James Cash Penney in 1902. The brand rapidly expanded and today has over 1,100 stores operating across the US and in Puerto Rico. In 2010 however, like many retail companies, JCPenney felt the crunch of the global financial crisis and closed the catalog arm of its business. This, along with a scandal that revealed JCPenney’s use of dubious SEO marketing techniques in 2011, prompted the company to attempt a fresh start.

Ron Johnson, a former executive at Apple, was announced as the new CEO in June 2011. Under Johnson’s leadership, JCPenney discontinued many of its in-house retail brands and rebranded itself as the more hip-sounding ‘JCP’.  It launched a new logo, based on the US flag, which reinforced the company’s ‘all American’ image.

Unfortunately, Johnson was unable to turn things around for the failing store. A loss of $552 million in fourth quarter sales in 2012 saw him fired in April 2013 and replaced by Mike Ullman.

Now, it seems, Ullman is attempting to undo the damage that Johnson allegedly caused and as well as bringing back the cashiers and some of the axed in-house brands, Ullman has also brought the old JCPenney logo back.

What do you think? Was this a good move for JCPenney, or is there more to the reinvention of a brand than just changing the logo?

About the Author:

Although her primary niche is in scientific writing and editing, freelance writer Lisa Martin is also a creative type with an eye for design. She regularly works alongside graphic designers and as such has a keen interest in the development of logos and branding.

Leave Your Comment

amazing! I am suprised they did this!

by JOJOBEENovember 16, 2014

The trick was in the name. The name JCPenney was the brand, not JCP. It messes up with the consumer. You can change the logo but don`t touch the name.

by PavelOctober 25, 2013